Microtest has signed a contract with Healthcare Gateway to share data from its Guru system via the Medical Interoperability Gateway, with work at a pilot site starting next month.

The deal is the latest move from primary care IT suppliers to improve their interoperability with other suppliers, after Emis and TPP signed an agreement to allow direct interoperability between their clinical systems.

Microtest’s Guru data-sharing solution allows GPs to see details about a patient they are treating in the community – such as medication, allergies and medical history – with all information live and updated.

Practices can use the web-based Guru system to share their patient data with other providers including other GPs, out-of-hours doctors or community providers.

The deal with Healthcare Gateway means GP practices and other organisations using Guru will be able to view and share information with providers using any other clinical system.

The MIG now gives clinicians real-time access to more than 18 million GP patient records covering the four main primary care systems suppliers.

Chris Netherton, Microtest’s managing director, said: “With so many health communities using Guru, it is very exciting that they can now use it to work with patient records across all clinical systems.

“Microtest has been working hard with Healthcare Gateway to integrate the MIG with Guru so that we can enable fully joined up integrated care across clinical systems and across health communities.”

Peter Anderson, Healthcare Gateway’s managing director, said the agreement with Microtest “marks another important step forward in the capabilities of the MIG”.

“It strengthens our many-to-many connectivity service, which is saving time and money for the NHS.”

Anderson said Healthcare Gateway has agreed on a pilot location with Microtest, and work will start there in April.

News of the MIG connection comes shortly after Emis and TPP – the two main suppliers in the primary care IT market – announced they had reached a deal to enable direct interoperability between Emis Web and SystmOne respectively.

The companies said the move is part of an effort to help deliver more integrated patient care across multiple settings and address a growing need for interoperability, with plans to trial the interoperability at pilot sites within three months.

Anderson said the direct deal will not undermine the MIG, as it is restricted to point-to-point sharing between the two systems as opposed to the MIG's "many to many" interoperability.

"Different healthcare economies will require different interoperability solutions [and] point-to-point data-sharing between TPP and EMIS will be of benefit in areas using just these two systems.

"In areas with multiple systems, or where the customer wants to purchase a single interoperability solution to work across many use cases, the MIG will continue to be a valuable option."